University City

Loop construction to bring new bridges

The latest phase of construction for Interstate 485 is moving beyond the clearing of land in northern Mecklenburg County and near Cabarrus County.

The state is putting new pavement on the ground and starting work on the first of seven bridges on and near Eastfield and Browne roads.

Utility work that closed a portion of Alexanderana Road between Old Statesville and Eastfield roads March 31 is schedule to wrap up by 5 p.m. today.

A portion of Browne Road just to the east is scheduled to close in a month or so, as the pace of bridge construction picks up between Interstate 77 and Brown Road.

The $150 million project to complete the Outerbelt will fill 5.7 miles of gaps and create a link between interstates 77 and 85.

“This is the biggest road project in Mecklenburg County,” Gary Eudy, assistant resident engineer for the N.C. Department of Transportation, said of completing the loop.

Eudy is overseeing work being done by two to three trucking companies and clearing crews, bridge and utility crews and culvert and road crews.

Work on the project started around last August. Construction is scheduled to be completed and the road opened by December 2014.

Completing the eight-lane loop in that area will call for three bridges over the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, one bridge over the tracks at the new alignment of Alexanderana Road and two more bridges at the new alignment of Eastfield.

Construction on the bridges started more than four months ago.

The project will extend Alexanderana Road from Old Statesville Road to Eastfield Road.

Dirt will be removed to a depth of more than 35 feet to build the interstate beneath Browne Road and build a bridge over it.

Closing dates for the portion of Browne Road between Eastfield Road and White Stag Drive have not been decided.

Eudy said motorists should watch for detour signs and an announcement in the weeks ahead.

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